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Körper und Bild im Spätmittelalter

Techniken und Reflexionen des Bildes

Öffentliche Tagung
Fr+Sa, 21.+22.11.2003
ZKM_Vortragssaal, Eintritt frei

DFG-Graduiertenkolleg »Bild. Körper. Medium. Eine anthropologische Perspektive«.
Eine Veranstaltung der Staatlichen Hochschule für Gestaltung Karlsruhe


Dr. Louise Bourdua

»Displaying the bodily remains of Anthony of Padua«
Abstract des Vortrags vom 21.11.2003

Video » 32:58 min. » Breitband

The enthusiasm for the cult of Saint Antony of Padua as a gifted preacher is attested by the removal of his tongue, chin, and left arm from the coffin during a recognition of 1263, presided by Bonaventura, the Minister General of the Franciscan order. The relics were presumably transferred to suitable containers but neither these early reliquaries, nor any documentation about them survive. In the mid to late fourteenth century no less than four reliquaries were manufactured to hold the bodily remains of Antony. In some cases the shape adopted relates to the body part housed within the reliquary, while in others there seems to have been no direct link with the shape of the body but different narratives are given prominence. In one final example a profane object (a candelabra?) may have been refashioned to hold the skin of the saint. In all cases the design allowed for the visual display of the relic. One might have expected the reliquary's identity to have become closely tied to its precious contents but this was not so. Less than one hundred years later two of our four vessels lost their original relic and acquired new ones, and in the process the body part retained little in common with its container.
This essay investigates the changing displays of the bodily relics of Saint Antony of Padua and situates these in their wider context exploring ties between body shape, container and narrative.


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